Tag Archives: BBQ

Memorial Day Weekend Fun

I had a wonderful, fun filled Memorial Day weekend: Fleet Week, Bar Bacon, backyard BBQ with great friends.

On Friday, I headed to Times Square to see The “Rhode Island Sound,” a division of Navy Band Northeast perform. I loved how they sounded: Energetic, polished and fun! The songs they played ranged from contemporary hits such as Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” to more classic tunes, like Prince’s “Kiss” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” They ended with the catchy “Don’t Stop Believing,” and effectively got all of us to dance and sing along.

fleetweek2015_bandThere were also Marines stationed nearby with guns and a huge military tank. I held one of the guns, as pictured below.

fleetweek2015_marine I also climbed up on top of the tank, which was quite high and was a little disconcerting, but also felt exhilarating being up at such an altitude and able to see all of Times Square.

fleetweek2015_marine2There were also sailors around, so of course I had to take a selfie with a sailor! #SelfieWithASailor

fleetweek2015_sailorsSaturday morning I met up with a bunch of friends to go on the free ship tour. This year, the Navy and Marines came in on the USS San Antonio. We got to see various types of machinery/artillery/tanks, warfare/weapons,  cargo/ammo vehicles, electronics, living quarters and the medical room. My favorite area of the ship was the outdoor upper deck, which boasted a lovely view of the Coast Guard ship and the New York City skyline.

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We had a fun time exploring the USS San Antonio, and couldn’t leave without a group photo with one of the sailors!

fleetweek2015_group picAfter the ship tour, we headed to a nearby restaurant bar in Hell’s Kitchen called Bar Bacon. I had actually heard of the place before and been wanting to try it, because who doesn’t love bacon in everything?

barbacon signWe shared two appetizers: Sauteed brussel sprouts with a delicious sauce and thick cut pieces of bacon and fried pickles. The brussel sprouts were amazing! Such intense flavor and fresh taste! I loved the texture and sort of meatiness of the brussel sprouts. Even if there weren’t any bacon in the dish, I would have been completely satisfied.

barbacon_brussel sproutsThe fried pickles were speared and looked like french fries. They came piping hot so that was good, but otherwise they were just okay.

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It was difficult for me to choose a main course, because I was looking at two options: French Toast or open faced chicken club sandwich. I ended up sharing with a friend, so was able to experience the best of both worlds. I started with the sandwich, which came beautifully presented. The sandwich came with grilled chicken, Applewood smoked bacon, romaine, organic tomato and chipotle mayonnaise and my, it was delicious! All the ingredients complemented each other and came together perfectly. The chicken was wonderful and juicy; bacon had just the right amount of crispness; the sauce gave it an extra zest of flavor.

barbacon_sandwichThe brioche french toast (only served on weekends) was also artfully presented and came with bacon maple butter, two slices of bacon, strawberries and whipped cream. The accompanying components were very tasty, but the I thought the bread itself was a bit too tough/hard. I prefer my french toast to be fluffy and moist.

barbacon_french toastI also went to a BBQ at a friend’s lovely backyard. We had extremely juicy delicious pulled pork, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, fruit, salad and the star of the event: BBQ ribs! They were succulent, smoky and finger-lickin’ good!

BBQribsLater, we enjoyed one of our friend’s amazing homemade key lime pie. It was delectable… Wonderful light lemon flavor with a killer graham-cracker crust and a bit of whipped cream to add to the already amazing layers of deliciousness. BBQkeylime pieIt turned out to be a great weekend with amazing food, friends and fun!

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Bar Bacon
836 9th Ave
New York, NY

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Dining at Traif

I had heard a lot about the restaurant Traif, in Brooklyn and finally had the chance to experience it with a friend the other day. It didn’t disappoint. It was explained to us by the waitress the items on the menu are small bites meant to be shared so we chose a few items. I started off by getting a drink: Pomegranate juice, which was full of pure pomegranate flavor and not too sweet.

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Our first dish was baked Muenster cheese with smoked chorizo and green apple, as well as crostini to dip. The cheese was warm and extremely delicious, along with the chorizo at the bottom. It paired perfectly with the apple and bread. We were even given more bread to finish the rest of the cheese.

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Next came the strawberry-cinnamon glazed baby back ribs, which were as delicious as it sounds. The ribs were coated with just the right amount of seasoning and sauce, and we could really taste the cinnamon spice. The meat came off the bone easily and tasted tender, hearty and a mix of savory and sweet.

traif_ribsAfter that was the BBQ braised short rib sliders with smoked paprika aioli and sweet potato fries. The short rib was incredibly juicy and had a burst of mouthwatering BBQ flavor. And the sweet potato fries were perfectly crispy, crunchy, and delightful. Some of the best I’ve tasted!

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Last was the broccoli rabe, which we thought would be a good, healthy choice but it came smothered in aged asiago, portobello truffle toast and fried egg. Each component tasted great on its own but combining the strong flavors of sauteed broccoli rabe, mushroom, cheese and egg is what made it a wonderful masterpiece.

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The dessert was maple bacon mini donuts with coffee ice cream and this was amazing! Warm doughy, sweet, chewy donuts, glazed with caramel and sprinkled with bacon bits– What could be better? And the ice cream was very yummy, with authentic flavor of milky coffee.
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The meal at Traif, from start to finish, was exquisitely decadent, delectable and delicious! The service was spot on and attentive. I would go back again in a heartbeat to try other menu items.

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Traif
229 S 4 St
Brooklyn, NY

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Trip to Florida!

I had a great time on my recent trip (end of September) to Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida to visit a close friend of mine. I was able to stay for 5 days, which sounds like a long time but definitely flew by way too fast!

Friday

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Getting to see goats, rhinos, elephants, birds, lions, tigers, giraffes, gorillas, lemurs, panthers, leopards, kangaroos, penguins, otters… Oh my!

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There were also Asian gardens and koi pond, bamboo forests, Wildlife Carousel  featuring different animals, Savanah Blooms Garden, and view of the ocean.

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In addition, lovely statues of elephants, jaguar, gorilla, pandas, dolphin water park!

elephantstatueFriday

SeaWorld day!

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Though we had a bit of a late start, we managed to pack a lot in! Beautiful water; flamingos; dolphins that came up close; underwater view of the dolphins; colorful fish; sea turtles; awesome 3D show of sea turtles hatching and their journey; sharks and cool view of them above and below us; jellyfish; awesome whale & dolphin show, with spectacular display of humans in bird costumes doing acrobatics in the air and diving into the pool; Antarctica; super cute show show on a pirate ship about treasures with pirates, seal and otters; watching pearl diving; seeing Shamu! and checking out the lovely gift shops.

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In the evening we hung out at Downtown Disney, where we visited some fun shops and had a delicious dinner.

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Saturday

Just hanging out in Orlando, meeting some new people, chilling out a pub, stopping by the Florida Mall, shopping around the area, and enjoying the pool!

DSCN6165Sunday

Back to Jacksonville for a friend’s BBQ – Lots of delicious ribs (three different types: Dry rub, baby back and short with special sauce), mac and cheese and peach crumble.

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We also spent some quality time at the beach. I loved it! The water was sooo nice and warm and fun to be in!

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That night we went out bar hopping, starting with Murray’s Tavern for some good hanging out, a meal (lumpia and sweet potato fries- yum!) and pool then made our way to a bunch of other places such as Metro.

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After going out, we spent the evening watching horror movie, The Depraved.

Monday

Spent the day at St. John’s Towncenter which is basically an outdoor stretch of a mall, with very palm trees lining the streets, a fountain area, an outdoor garden area with koi pond and a cool train shuttle and of course many shops such as Forever 21, aerie bebe, Ross, bareMinerals, Artsy Abode, Brighton Collectibles, and high end shops such as Louis Vuitton and much more!

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We had lunch at Cheesecake Factory, where I had herb crusted salmon with mashed potatoes and asparagus, which was delicious and very filling even though it was the Lunch Special and supposedly smaller portions. The salmon was nicely seared and wonderfully flavored, while the mashed potato and asparagus were in a rich, savory, tasty white sauce.

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Despite being quite full, my friend and I couldn’t resist ordering dessert as well. I picked the S’Mores Cheesecake, which was made out of delectable chocolate cheesecake with dark chocolate topping, graham cracker crust and roasted marshmallow.

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After our lunch, we did some more shopping and hanging out then soon enough I had to be dropped off at the airport. I had a wonderful time with my friend in Florida and hope to visit again soon!

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4th of July Weekend

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BBQs and 4th of July are synonymous to me, so I was happy to attend my friend’s BBQ and enjoy bacon-wrapped mini sausages, chicken wings, salmon steak and grilled peaches. We also had a wonderful white frosted cake with red trim, and a blue flower. Inside was layered white cake with chocolate frosting in between, which was so darn delicious (however, a bit overly sweet)!

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We enjoyed several different street fireworks displays and the next day I prepared to go camping at Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania with a group of people.¬† I had a wonderful time. Once again, there was soo much food… I had salmon on top of fennel and sprinkled with thyme. There was also marinated ribs, jerk chicken, steak, sausage, corn, yams!

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Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, despite the rain from Friday night and we took a hike through the forest and along the waterfalls. There were trees and green plants, babbling streams, bridges, and more- Such a charming scene in nature. But by far the most magnificent, most glorious creations were the many waterfalls… Some were small, while others spanned the distance of entire boulders. They were absolutely breathtaking and I enjoyed being in the presence of such beauty, taking in the refreshing spray of the water and the sound of the water streaming down.

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After the hike, we decided to head to the beach where I enjoyed being in the lovely water and just chilling in the shade, making conversation and having ice cream.

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Back at the campsite, we started preparing dinner and this time I learned how to make a new delectable tasting dessert. Take a banana, split it length-wise, add a caramel piece, Reese’s Pieces (or chocolate + peanut butter), marshmallow pieces, wrap it all up in tin foil and put it atop the fire for a few minutes until everything is melted together in a wonderful gooey mess. Yes, it is over indulging, but it is so worth it!

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I had a great 4th of July weekend and hope you did as well!

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